February’s “Love one another” theme spurred many love-ly thoughts, and I’m still reading and enjoying posts from last month’s challenge! It was both fun and honor to host Inspired Deals, and just in case you’re tempted, you have until Monday night to use the code LOVE25 and save 25% on EVERYTHING at DaySpring.  And…the Love Collection Set (pictured below) is now 25% off, so combined with the discount code, you’re really getting a…wait for it–inspired deal!  :)

Mr & Mrs Love Collection

In follow-up to my first ever vlog, I thought I’d share a few highlights and a little inspiration from our annual Mother-Daughter Valentine Tea Party, this year our 16th!

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. ~ Lady Blessington

The invitation delivered what it promised–fun WAS had by ALL! Nancy, my mother-in-law’s best friend, made our invitations special!  She and I think we could create an entire line of cards based on this single picture but we’re probably biased.

“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art,
one of the joys of civilized living…”

~ Dione Lucas

This year’s “tea” was actually brunch, proving the only rule to a wonderful tea party tradition is flexibility!  My mother-in-law prepared a delicious breakfast spread, including fresh fruit, cranberry muffins, two casseroles…and raspberry mouse with chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert.  Mmmmm, dessert for brunch–best idea EVAH!

It takes a long time to grow an old friend. ~ John Leonard
I love to watch these two together…they delight in one another’s company.

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. ~ Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

Though we try our darndest to discourage gift-giving, many show up with little love gifts–surcies–and each year we have hostess gifts (this year’s, the tea towel pictured above).

“…Your people shall be my people…” ~ Ruth 1:16

Over the past few years, my mother-in-law has delegated responsibilities to her four daughter-in-laws.  The past two years I’ve welcomed our guests and read An Invitation to Tea, and this year Janice (far left) shared a devotion and scripture, and Bebe (in between Janice and me) read the most darling book ever, Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons.  Usually Hazel will say a blessing but unfortunately this year she was sick and I had the honor.

I’m grateful and don’t take it for granted that my husband’s family IS my family…and I don’t just love them, I like them and delight in their company.

(Back l-r) Abbie, Rachel, Kirby, Mary, Anna. (Front l-r) Caroline and Erin

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ~ C.S. Lewis

There are so many wonderful aspects to continuing this annual Valentine tradition, but my favorite is watching the cousins and their besties grow up and mature in their friendships.  Or maybe it’s three generations sitting around the table telling stories and sharing life.  Or perhaps it’s learning when to speak your mind or listen, understanding that silver and fine china are intended to be used if you have it, or celebrating family and friendship just because these are the relationships God decided for us next to the ones we chose ourselves.

Sixteen years ago I had no idea what this tradition would mean to me today.  To God be the glory.

by Robin Dance, author or PENSIEVE

  • http://www.thegypsymama.com Lisa-Jo

    Robin, this is soooo lovely. What fun to get a peek into such a fun day! How I wish I could have been there. Thank you for sharing.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Lisa-Jo :),

      Having you around the table would’ve been delicious icing, of that, I’m certain.

      M a y b e this is a tradition you can begin when your daughter turns three… ;) :).

  • http://countrymouseclaire.blogspot.com/ Claire


    I am having a girly get-together soon – will be nicking many of these ideas!


    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance


      Oooooo, do share with me after your get together so maybe I can find some new ideas to add to ours! Sounds fun!! :)

  • http://housepretty.blogspot.com/ Sue@housepretty

    That is SO nice to be able to have close relations like that with your in-laws and to be able to feel that his family is indeed your family. Treasure that! And I have to say, I loved that picture of the mugs and packages in black/white. Very sharp!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance


      I do NOT take for granted those relationships; I feel especially blessed where my MIL is concerned having lost my own mom (to cancer) when I was a little girl.

      And the mug shot? ha! That’s photographed by DaySpring and you can BUY those by clicking the picture!!! :) I love ‘em, too!

  • http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com Janis@Open My Ears Lord

    LOVE the femininity yet reality of this post. Girl stuff is so much fun. Looking forward to sharing a time of tea and friendship to celebrate a close friend’s birthday. Then we’ll be off to visit another friend out-of-state for a Girls’ Weekend. We really need these girl times to rejuvenate ourselves, especially if one is in a household of males as I am.

    Enjoyed all the sharing you were able to do with your family and your hubby’s family. Wish we lived close to our families to be able to share our love for each other in this same way. But I’m thinking that maybe this would be a good idea to do with a group of ladies from our church.

    You’ve got me thinking!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance


      This would be a lovely event to initiate for the women of your church; I do hope you’ll pursue it. Starting small would be ideal; then you can tweak it to accommodate more ladies over time.

      We live about five hours from our family which makes it drivable for the weekend; when this started I actually hosted it at my house and it was moms and daughters and my MIL. Over time (and with my move to TN), we made it more of a family thing with the daughters allowed to invite one friend. I’m glad it’s evolved to that :).

  • BJ

    What a wonderful tradition and legacy your mother law will leave.